Stephanopoulos signs on at ABC

NEW YORK – ABC News won the bidding war for George Stephanopoulos, the Clinton administration adviser who’s segueing to the private sector as the President begins a second term.

The Alphabet web on Wednesday named Stephanopoulos, 35, as a contributing correspondent. He’ll file reports and offer political analysis, mostly on the Sunday “This Week” public-affairs show and on “Good Morning America,” the ayem chatfest now looking to regain ground lost to NBC’s “Today.” The job begins sometime next month.

In a statement, ABC News president Roone Arledge gushed that Stephanopoulos is “one of the best-known and most articulate presidential advisers this country has ever seen,” and called him “an enormous asset” to the network.

The ABC coup proved a blow for rival CBS, which had hotly pursued Stephanopoulos and last summer hired another White House aide, Lisa Caputo, in a top PR post. The Eye web had wooed Stephanopoulos as a successor of sorts to Bill Moyers, a former aide to Lyndon Johnson who became a noted commentator.

Stephanopoulos, currently senior adviser to the president for policy and strategy, was a key member of Clinton’s 1992 election campaign, serving as deputy manager and director of communications, and earlier was executive floor manager to then-House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.).

Last week, he announced plans to teach political science at Columbia U. beginning next fall.

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